Teaching Artist Professional Development

Welcome family, friends, and wider community. I am raising money for a professional development program through Shakespeare and Company which I will be attending in January 2013, in Lennox, MA. It is an intensive, month-long actor training program, where students are immersed in study 6 days a week for 12 hours a day. Not only does the program delve deeply into Shakespearean text and performance, but it also provides training in other disciplines such as Linklater (voice), clown, and stage combat. This is an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a teaching artist. I had the great fortune to attend a weekend workshop with Shakespeare and Company last April and it blew my mind (and soul) open. Through the work that we did in just two days, I accessed a power in my voice that I had never felt before. That experience has stayed with me since. I am simply over the moon about the potential growth a month of this work would give me.

As many of you know, I am in love with my work as a theatre educator. Currently, I am the in-school drama teacher at Malcolm X Elementary, a magnet arts public school in Berkeley, CA. At Malcolm X, I teach grades K-5 the fundamentals of theatre arts and direct all 500 students in class plays each year. I also teach classes for our upper grade students in technical theatre, video creation, and costume design. Our 5th grade students are currently rehearsing A Midsummer Summer Night's Dream. Our 4th grade students are rehearsing devised performance pieces based on their own short stories about overcoming their fears. In addition to working at Malcolm X 4 days a week, I also teach after-school and in-school classes with theatre and education companies in the Bay Area, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Destiny Arts, Marin Theatre Company, Go-Girls Inc, and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. And I continue to find a little bit of time to perform myself. Phew!

The career path of a teaching artist is new in the professional world and therefore does not have a lot of organizational funding yet to support it (though we are moving in that direction!), so I am paying for this program with Shakespeare and Company out of pocket. Although this is my first year supporting myself as a full-time teaching artist, I am happy to say that I am able to cover about half of the cost of this program with my savings. I am asking for support from my beloved community to raise the remaining $2,000. If you can help, I would be deeply grateful. Make it $10, $25, $50, or whatever amount you feel comfortable with. All will be welcomed with great joy.

My tuition is due December 1st "“ the time is now. I hope you'll consider lending a helping hand!

With warmth and gratitude,

Mariah Castle

PS "“ One last detail: for the use of their website service, Go Fund Me keeps 5% of all donations made. Thank you!

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Mariah Jane Castle 
Oakland, CA
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